Where in South Carolina is everyone and what are you experiences as being an atheist?

I'll start. I'm in Columbia at USC, and I rarely feel fearful admitting that I don't believe in God. Of course I don't go around just saying it, no more than I go around spouting that I'm a liberal or a humanist. 

Most of the times I am confronted with someone religious, it is in a classroom or (funnily enough) out in the bars. One specific experience comes to mind: one night I was outside killing my lungs with a cigarette and half-intoxicated admittedly. I was with several friends and we were talking when a guy came up and starting shouting that YOU ARE ALL SINNERS, YOU NEED TO ACCEPT JESUS AND GET OUT OF THE BARS AND FIND GOD--I paraphrase of course. I was so enraged, shouting that we don't come to his church and drink and he shouldn't come to our bars and preach God and immediately ranting about the hypocrisy and untruth of religion, especially Christianity. Most of my friends are not outspoken atheists and probably wouldn't call themselves atheists, but I'm sure that most of them don't really believe in God, much less the Christian one. Some of the others outside too were obviously Christian, including one of my friends, and they went to the guy and started saying that he shouldn't preach the word of God like that, with shouts and anger. Soon enough all of them were kneeling in prayer with him. I was disgusted. I did however make brief friends with another critic shouting back at him. I could have handled it a little better, but when you mix an outspoken, loud-mouthed, gay atheist with alcohol, that's what happens, but oh well.

I just wanted to share one of my experiences and hear of some of yours here in our Palmetto State. I was glad to find that even though I was in the minority, no one was trying to suppress my different view. 

So please share.

Tags: 1st, amendment, atheist, carolina, christian, majority, minority, south

Views: 861

Replies to This Discussion

I live in the Pelion, SC.

I currently don't have much to say about my experiences because by the time someone finds out that I'm a Agnostic-Atheist they have heard me talk. Usually that is enough to get people informed that I know what I'm talking about, have the facts/evidence, reason well, very well read, point out logical fallacies in your argument, and that I have the need to follow the evidence no matter where or what it leads to.

It could be that the people who I'm around are not challenging, besides my wife (who's from Colorado), generally don't have the inclination or need to know, and are content with the status quo.
I'm in the Hilton Head area and I have my own business so I am quiet when it comes to my religious beliefs.  I am open to friends, family, and to anyone who asks, but I don't bring it up.  There are a lot of transplants here, but it still is a conservative area and I don't feel like losing any business at this point (people don't need a reason to fire a contractor).  I've always been outspoken before, even when I was a public school teacher in a school with a heavy religious culture - but that was in Michigan and I didn't have to worry about losing my job because of it. 

I live in Aiken and work at SRS. I used to be pretty open about my atheism, but now I'm ashamed to say I hide it a little. I feel that my job is stressful enough without ostracizing myself from the small team of people I have to work with... All of whom are religious, unfortunately. Still, sometimes I can't help myself and crack anti-religious jokes that score some raised eyebrows. :)

 

Luckily, my parents, brother, and sister are all atheists as well, so I have some emotional support to fall back on in times of need.

Hi all, I just joined AN yesterday.  I'm in Liberty, (between Easley and Clemson) but work in Greenville, so I get some relief from my small town.  I'm pretty open about telling people I'm an atheist.  It's hard to not mention due to the fact that the first thing a stranger here asks you is, "Where do you go to church?"  When I tell them I don't, the conversation is either dead, or it turns into a grand attempt to save my soul from eternal damnation.  The fact that I love debating politics is another frustrating aspect of living here.

 

One particular story I experienced was when I told my friend I was an atheist, and he said that he didn't believe there was such a thing.  He then told me I was lying because he knew if someone shot me and left me for dead, I would end up praying to god to save me.  I then told him I wouldn't, I would just simply try to stop the bleeding and call 911.  He walked away baffled, and I walked away with a reinforcement of the principle that most christians, and stories in the bible, often can't make a point without someone having bodily harm done to them.  On the bright side, there's never a dull moment when dealing with the natives.

Trying to find like mind freethinkers in and around the spartanburg area; which is difficult to say the least.  I have an interest in all things fun and factual.  Sometimes I like to discuss religion with my southern friends by bringing up a changeable Islam religion.  If there is a local group or just something where everyone gets together for coffee at Starbucks, please e-mail.

Thx

Greenville/Spartanburg folks, there are 3 groups up that way...

 

Greenville Nontheists:  http://groups.yahoo.com/group/greenvillenontheists/?yguid=173853016

Upstate SC Freethinkers:  http://www.meetup.com/Upstate-SC-Freethinkers/

Upstate SC Secular Humanists:  http://uscsh.org/

 

Hope this helps!

Hello, yesterday I joined this nexus site. Last summer I moved from the coast of New Jersey to SC for some research opportunities. Up to this point, I do not like it here and its becoming increasingly difficult to maintain these few embers of happiness remaining. 

The culture, the attitude, the spirits of people here are wearing on me. There's an enriching quality missing from everything here. Writing this down became more depressing than I thought. 

The only time I've enjoyed this state was my time in myrtle beach, very similar to the beaches in my hometown. My upbringing was in a secular environment, exposed to all ideas. Upon moving here, I was immediately confronted with church. I just want to play baseball, even softball. I dont want to join a church for it; ideas are perpetuated by theistic influence which as a whole reduces the chance of unadulterated positioning. Politically, I see so much hate for categories of people under the ruse of christian canon, and this is the unsettling to me. 

I have kept all discussion of religion to myself after shortly moving down here and experiencing some of the most proselytizing humans I've faced. 

Wow. You must be in a smaller town or something. I cannot imagine feeling that way here. I have always liked the state per se. Some of the people can be annoying at times, but I tend to stay away from those people. Being out and about in Greenville I have never had much of an issue with backwoods retards trying to make me feel like I don't belong or something. I guess it depends on the places you frequent. There are a lot of churches and church goers..probably a lot of bible thumpers also..depends on where you work and what type of people you are around. I steer clear of those types also.

I hope you can find a place you fit in and enjoy because I think the state has a lot to offer..guess that also depends on what you are looking for.

I'm in Darlington, SC. and looking for other like minded people the talk with here, so if you know of anyone in my area please pass along my information.  Thanks

CFP, there is a group in Florence.  It's new so still kind of small, but it is called FLorence Atheists and Secular Humanists (FLASH), if you're interested.  Here is the link to the Facebook group:  http://www.facebook.com/groups/381922371839907/

I'm in Greenville and I don't really talk much about it outside my home..and not much inside my home either. I try to steer clear of religious talk at work and out anywhere else..becuase, as you know, people think atheist somehow translates to satan worshipper. I try to explain to people that that is stupid since I don't believe in satan either. That is a foreign concept to most..they just dont understand how you cannot believe in either one of those myths..to me, they are mutually eclusive..you have to believe in god to believe in satan. duh.

Anyway, like I said, not many know me as an atheist. I work with some people from Bob Jones and a few that are religious to the extreme. They don't preach to me or out in public, but they do talk the talk and listen to the music, etc. When religion comes up I can discuss it without putting my opinions into it and it generally goes away pretty quickly..so, I'd say none of my coworkers know I don't believe. Some of my friends know and they don't care..since most of them are the type that go to church 2 times a year anyway.

I do feel kinda lonely in this area of my life, but don't think a meeting of atheists is something that interests me..I see it as a non-belief rather than something I need to cultivate..that to me is the reason for meetings of any sort..to cultivate something. Just like church..it cultivates the sheep into their belief..I see them as Amway meetings for believers..it keeps them from thinking and straying. I don't need that to keep me on my path.

Anywho, enough babbling from me..just joined this group to see and hear from others that are like me in SC..and how many of us are hiding in plain sight here in the bible belt.

I'm from Anderson. My experience is limited, I don't usually just tell people I'm atheist, but I will if they ask. They almost always treat me differently when they know though. I'm 17, and I've been atheist for less than 2 years, so sometimes I feel like people don't take my atheism seriously. However, I have never been more sure about a decision in my life than the decision to think for myself and stop believing in god just because I'm told he's real. I joined this site because I want to be more open about atheism and stop feeling like I have to hide it.

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